The 2000s

An era where the long boom of liberal economics continued to flourish – until it didn’t.

Amazon Prime
The sharing economy
Google and Amazon
Tesla Roadster

The Rise of Social Media

The 2000s saw the rapid growth of social media platforms, with Facebook and Twitter emerging as dominant forces in the digital landscape.

Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, quickly gained traction as a platform for connecting with friends and sharing content. By 2010, it had amassed over 500 million users, transforming the way people communicate and access information.


Twitter, launched in 2006, introduced the concept of microblogging, allowing users to share short, 140-character messages called “tweets.” This new form of communication enabled real-time updates and discussions on a global scale, with notable events such as the 2008 US presidential election and the Arab Spring uprisings showcasing its impact.

These platforms not only changed the way people interacted with each other but also revolutionized the business world. Companies began to recognize the potential of social media for marketing, customer engagement, and data collection.

The Smartphone Revolution

The launch of the iPhone in 2007 marked the beginning of the smartphone revolution. Apple’s groundbreaking device combined a mobile phone, an iPod, and an internet communication device into one sleek package, setting the stage for the rapid growth of the mobile app industry.

The introduction of the App Store in 2008 allowed developers to create and distribute applications for the iPhone, leading to an explosion of innovation and entrepreneurship.


The smartphone revolution extended beyond Apple, with companies like Samsung, Google, and Huawei entering the market and offering their own devices and app ecosystems.

This new era of mobile technology transformed the way people accessed information, communicated, and conducted business. From mobile banking and e-commerce to social networking and gaming, smartphones became an integral part of daily life for billions of people around the world.

The Emergence of Streaming Services

The 2000s also witnessed the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify, which revolutionized the way people consumed entertainment, and has greatly shifted consumer expectations around on demand content.

Netflix expanded their offerings to include original content, such as the critically acclaimed series “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” By 2013, Netflix had surpassed 40 million subscribers, signaling a shift in consumer preferences away from traditional cable and satellite TV.


Similarly, Spotify, launched in 2008, transformed the music industry by offering access to millions of songs through a subscription. The platform’s emphasis on personalized playlists and music discovery helped it gain a loyal user base, with over 100 million subscribers by 2019.

The success of these streaming services disrupted traditional media distribution models and paved the way for other platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple Music.

The Growth of E-Commerce Giants

The 2000s saw the dominance of e-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba, which reshaped the retail landscape. Amazon, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, expanded its product offerings beyond books, eventually becoming a one-stop-shop for virtually anything consumers could want.

The introduction of Amazon Prime in 2005, offering free two-day shipping and access to streaming content, further solidified the company’s position as a retail powerhouse.


Meanwhile, in China, Alibaba emerged as a major player in the e-commerce space. Founded by Jack Ma in 1999, the company’s platforms, including Taobao and Tmall, facilitated the buying and selling of goods between businesses and consumers. By 2014, Alibaba’s initial public offering (IPO) became the largest in history, raising $25 billion.

The growth of these e-commerce giants demonstrated the increasing importance of online retail and the global reach of digital commerce.

The Sharing Economy

The rise of platforms like Uber and Airbnb in the late 2000s marked the beginning of the sharing economy, a new business model based on the sharing of resources and services.


Uber, founded in 2009, disrupted the traditional taxi industry by connecting riders with drivers through a smartphone app. The platform’s convenience, affordability, and innovative features, such as surge pricing and driver ratings, quickly gained popularity among consumers.

Airbnb, launched in 2008, similarly revolutionized the hospitality industry by allowing homeowners to rent out their properties to travelers. The platform’s emphasis on unique accommodations and local experiences attracted millions of users, challenging the dominance of traditional hotels.

The sharing economy’s rapid growth demonstrated the power of technology to create new markets and transform existing industries.

The Financial Crisis of 2008

The global financial crisis of 2008 was a seismic event that shook the very foundations of the global economy.

Risky lending practices, and the proliferation of complex financial instruments that were poorly understood led to an overvaluation of the US housing market, with lenders granting mortgages to people who could not afford them, and then bundling these mortgages into securities that were sold to investors.

When the housing market collapsed, these securities became worthless, leading to massive losses for investors and the failure of numerous financial institutions, like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, sending shockwaves around the world.


Governments scrambled to contain the crisis, implementing unprecedented bailout packages and stimulus measures to prevent a complete economic collapse. But the damage was done, and the crisis exposed the fragility of the global financial system.

In the following years, businesses faced a challenging economic environment and increased regulation. However, the crisis also accelerated the shift towards emerging markets, particularly in Asia.

The Rise of Renewable Energy

The 2000s saw the growth of the solar and wind power industries, driven by concerns about climate change and the need for sustainable energy sources.

Technological advancements and government incentives helped reduce the cost of renewable energy production, making it increasingly competitive with fossil fuels.


By 2010, global investment in renewable energy had surpassed $200 billion, with countries like China, Germany, and the United States leading the way.

The rise of renewable energy also spurred innovation in energy storage and grid management, as well as the development of electric vehicles and other clean technologies. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, the continued growth of the renewable energy sector will be critical to achieving a sustainable future.

The Emergence of Big Data

The increasing importance of data analytics and data-driven decision-making emerged as a defining trend of the 2000s.


The proliferation of digital devices and the growth of the internet generated vast amounts of data, which businesses began to recognize as a valuable resource. Companies like Google and Amazon pioneered the use of big data to optimize their operations, improve customer experiences, and drive innovation.

The big data also led to the development of new tools and techniques for data analysis, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

These technologies enabled businesses to uncover insights and patterns that were previously hidden, transforming industries ranging from finance and healthcare to marketing and manufacturing.

The Growth of the Chinese Economy

China’s rise as a global economic powerhouse was one of the most significant developments of the 2000s.

Fueled by market-oriented reforms, massive infrastructure investments, and a growing middle class, China’s economy expanded at an unprecedented rate. By 2010, it had surpassed Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy.


China’s economic growth had far-reaching implications for global trade, investment, and geopolitics. The country emerged as a major exporter of goods, a key driver of commodity prices, and an increasingly important source of capital for other nations.

As China continues to evolve and assert its influence on the world stage, its role in shaping the future of business and industry cannot be overstated.

The Emergence of Electric Vehicles

In the 2000s, electric car companies like Tesla revolutionized the automotive industry by promoting more sustainable transportation options.

Tesla, founded in 2003, led the charge in creating high-performing, eco-friendly electric vehicles, with the debut of its first car, the Tesla Roadster in 2008, followed by the Model S sedan in 2012 and the Model X SUV in 2015.


Tesla’s success and the growing concern about climate change forced other automakers, including Nissan, Chevrolet, and BMW, to develop their own electric vehicles.

This competition led to advancements in battery technology and charging infrastructure, further supporting the shift towards a more sustainable transportation future.

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How consumer capitalism came to dominate the global economy in the post-war period.

The 1990s;

A decade where newly deregulated economies were supercharged by technological progress.

The 1980s;

A time dominated by free market economics and new, deregulated industries.

The 2010s;

A decade where global economies sought to recover from the crash of 2008, and tech giants became the new superpowers.

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